The holidays can be a difficult time of the year for many people. This year may be especially challenging, due to the pandemic, loss of employment, illness, etc. When going through times of extreme stress, it’s important to focus on what we have as opposed to what we’re lacking. By doing so, we can increase our happiness by 25%, according to University of California Psychology Professor, Dr. Robert Emmons. Dr. Emmons is the author of the book, Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier. In his book, Dr. Emmons states that a person who experiences gratitude handles everyday stress more effectively, can show increased resilience in trauma-induced stress, and is more likely to have better physical health, including recovering more quickly from illness.
Some days it may be a struggle to think of something you’re grateful for. During these times, think about the things we often take for granted…shelter, food, clean water, plumbing, etc. Start a list. Next, think about something you enjoyed during the day, maybe it was a hot cup of coffee, or a warm shower. The more you focus on these things, the more things you’ll find to focus on.